The Piazza dei Mercanti is one of the most beautiful squares in the Trastevere district in Rome. The most striking building on the square is the House of Ettore Fieramosca. The square formed the background of famous Italian movies, including Vittoria De Sica‘s “Bicycle Thieves”.
Piazza dei Mercanti Rome
The Piazza dei Mercanti has always been an important square. When the Ripa Grande river port still existed, it was here that the goods that were brought from the sea were traded and transported further on small river boats pulled by oxen. The Ripa Grande was moved toward the end of the 19th century, when the walls along the Tiber were constructed.
Toward the end of the 17th century, the Ospizio Apostolico di San Michele was built, wich changed the character of the square. An ospizio is a sort of old folks’ home. Several smaller buildings were incorporated in the new structure.
The most interesting building in the Piazza dei Mercanti is the one on the corner of the Piazza Santa Cecilia. This 13th century tower house is known as the House of Ettore Fieramosca, a famous mercenary soldier.
The Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere was the first church in Rome to be dedicated to the Madonna and maybe also the first one where Mass could openly be celebrated. The depiction of Maria on the facade is probably the first one that show her breastfeeding Jesus. The church was built over a very early Christian foundation and is famous for its ornate mosaics. Continue reading “Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica Rome”
The Fontana dell’Aqua Paola is one of the most impressive fountains in Rome. It was built on top of the Janiculum Hill in the Trastevere district. For people who have seen the Italian movie La Grande Bellezza, the fountain is seen in the film’s opening scenes, when the Asian tourist has a heart attack.
The Basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere in Rome is named for the patron saint of music, who was martyred and died around the year 230 at the site where the church was built. The murderers tried to strangle her, but when this proved impossible, she was beheaded. Highlights are Pietro Cavallini‘s frescoes and Maderno‘s statue of the saint herself. Continue reading “Basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere Rome”
The San Crisogono Church is located in the Trastevere district in Rome. San Crisogono is one of the first parochial churches of Rome. Underneath this church the ruins of a paleo-Christian church can be visited. Other highlights include Cavallini‘s mosaics in the apse and a baldachin by Bernini. Continue reading “San Crisogono Church Rome”
Piazza Mastai in Rome gets its name from the family of Pope Pius IX, who constructed the Manifattura dei Tabacchi there in 1865.
Piazza Mastai Rome
The building still exists, although the Pope himself was not too enthusiastic about the result. According to legend, after Pius had entered the building through the door, which was rather small compared to the rest of the building, he is supposed to have said: “Now I have entered through the window, I would also like to see where the door is”. It is safe to say that this was probably a lot wittier in Italian.
Except for the Manifattura dei Tabacchi, Pius IX also constructed a number of rental houses for those Trasteverini who did not have a sufficient income. The houses still exist, in the Via Cardinale Merry del Val, which used to be part of the Piazza Mastai.
The Piazza di San Cosimato is named for the church with the same name and is located in the middle of the district of Trastevere in Rome.
Piazza San Cosimato Rome
Apart from the San Cosimato Church, which nowadays is incorporated in the Regina Margherita hospital and has a beautifully intimate little courtyard, it does not have too much to offer to the average tourist.
For people with children the square can be a pleasant break from sightseeing duties, since there is a small playground to be found.
Piazza San Cosimato also boasts a small daily market, where the Trasteverini themselves do their shopping.
The surrounding streets are characterized be a great number of interesting little trattorie and pizzerie.
The Fontana del Prigione (Fountain of the Jail) is a well-traveled fountain that nowadays is located in the Trastevere district in Rome.
Fontana del Prigione Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via Goffredo Mameli – Rome. Opening horus and admission: The fountain can be seen from outside.
History and description
It was originally placed in the Giardino di Villa Montalto Peretti all’Esquilino, at the time the biggest private property with the city walls. When, at the end of the 19th century, the Esquilino district was completely restructured in order to create space for the new central railway station Roma Termini the villa was destroyed and the fountain was dismantled in order to be rebuilt later in the Via Genova.
Then, in 1938, the Palazzo del Viminale had to be built and the Fontana del Prigione was moved again, this time to its permanent spot in the Via Goffredo Mameli on the slope of the Janiculum hill in the quarter of Trastevere. The spot was chosen in order to create a harmonious background view for the Via Manara.
Parts of the fountain, as it can be admired now, belonged to the original version and other parts are copies.
Domenico Fontana, who was also the architect of the Villa Montalto itself, was the creator of the Fontana del Prigione. It is characterized by an alcove with an amply guirlanded alcove in the middle. The water comes out of a lion’s head (both the lion and the guirlande are symbols on the coat-of-arms of Pope Sixtus V, the villa’s owner) into a basin decorated with 6 pillars. The statue of the prisoner, which gave the fountain its name, has unfortunately gone lost, just like those of Apollo and Venus on its sides and the head of the God Aesculapius that used to crown the fountain.
In 2006 the Fontana del Prigione was completely restored.